The Nintendo 64 was Nintendo's third home console and featured one of the most baffling controllers of all time.
Released in 1996 after the big success of 1991's SNES, the Nintendo 64 was actually late to the market. Most consoles do have a lifetime of around 5 years, but Nintendo was late to the game when Sega's Saturn and Sony's PlayStation hit the market in late 1994. It did make up for late time by featuring such classics as:
PIctured: Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and... wait, what the fuck is that? Glover?
However, the Nintendo 64 featured an all new, revolutionary controller interface: the analog stick. Yeah, you know that little stub that moves around? You saw it here first. While developing 3D game environments, Nintendo found that the traditional D-pad (also invented by them) didn't allow for precise control, so they decided to forever change the course of gaming history to allow for slightly more accurate movement.
Even though the new analog stick was quite a step forward, it also had the distinction of being "first," meaning it was shit compared to later analog sticks. Because it was made out of hard plastic, using it too much could really hurt your thumb and after playing a lot, it would become loose in the socket. But come on!
Nintendo's controller seems to be designed for an octopus.
The analog stick has since been featured in pretty much every other major game controller that has been released since. In fact, the analog stick was so revolutionary at the time that many game-publications rewarded Nintendo's games such as Super Mario 64 and Majora's Mask some of the highest praise ever received, by anything. You thought Dark Side of the Moon was a good album? That Goodfellas was a great movie? Super Mario 64 was way better. The game was recently listed by IGN was the fifth greatest game ever created, surpassed only by other Nintendo games and Tetris. Super Mario 64 was heralded for its tight integration with the analog stick and for staying true to the series roots, even though it made the transition from 2D to 3D. Super Mario 64 was also the first time millions of gamers heard their beloved Mario speak:
The pure magic of seeing Mario in glorious 3D with an actual voice was actually too much for some fans to handle, and they became victims of Shitmypantsilitis; a condition that befalls people that get too excited about Nintendo-related products. It was still a really fun game.
Another one of the Nintendo 64's bizarre features was that it ignored the CD-media trend. So, unlike the more-successful Sony PlayStation, which had its games written onto a disc, Nintendo decided to stick with the extremely dated cartridge format after this lengthy corporate discussion:
Ex-Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi's most successfull business strategy
Sticking to the cartridge format was seen as a mistake by others. Cartridges were more expensive to produce than CDs and held less storage, meaning they could only accommodate shorter games or worse graphics. The upside to cartridges is that games load faster and you'll look like a jackass in front of your friends when you have to blow on the bottom to get it to work properly.
Other innovations the N64 offered were then-state of the art 3D graphics. At the time, the 64's 64bit (yep) framework allowed for more precise polygon counts to shape 3D models more effectively than Sega's Saturn and Sony's PlayStation. But remember, this was 1996. These were considered amazing graphics:
Wait, that's not... oh never mind.
With the Nintendo 64's legendary five year-run, many classic games were released for the system and many consider the console to be home to the single-most amount of great exclusive games ever. Some games were so well received by fans that they simply stopped buying new consoles after the Nintendo 64 and continue to play them to this day. These people are referred to as fucking losers. Anyways, the contenders:
Super Mario 64
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Nerdgasms
You know what? Fuck those games. They may have been great and all, but there is one clear winner here. A game that transcends fun into an entire new realm of enjoyment and redefines immersive experience. This isn't just a game, it is a shining example of why mankind was put on this earth. This game is perfection.
FUCK YEAH POKEMON PUZZLE LEAGUE
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